A Century of the Red & Black



A new team of mentors


A new team of mentors

February 3, 2024

Pat Hawkins, Dimitri Panotis (Reserves), Jeff Gobbels, Daniel Donati and Louis Tiernan


The senior coaching group for 2024 has been finalised, with a mix of old and new to lead us in the upcoming campaign. On the back of the exciting announcement of securing head coach Daniel Donati, the coaching group is now complete. Joining Donati with the Senior Men is Pat Hawkins, Dan Hannebery, Louis Tiernan and Jeff Gobbels.

Club President Matt Cosgrave says the group have come together nicely and are looking to build into the start of the season

"Nutsy has put together a fantastic group of coaches, who have already had a great impact on the playing group. It's fantastic to see Pat Hawkins and Louis Tiernan return, both of whom were part of our last senior premiership. Combining these club greats with the new face of Jeff Gobbels, an extremely experienced player and quality individual, there is a great balance amongst our coaches that we are very excited to see in 2024, " Cosgrave said.

Pat Hawkins celebrating the 2016 A Grade Premiership


Pat Hawkins needs no introduction to the Old Xaverians Community. A Life Member, three-time Under 19 premiership coach (1996/1998/1999) and Senior Premiership coach in 2016 with Ted Woodruff, he has done it all.

A great leader of young men, with an incredible understanding of amateur footy and the club, it's fantastic to have Hawk back in the football program. Pat's coaching experience will be invaluable for Donati, and will assist the development of the players and other coaches.

Dan Hannebery during the 2023 Season


Dan Hannebery is stepping up as a playing assistant coach in 2024, taking control of the midfield group.

226 AFL games, including 2012 premiership and 3 x All Australian, Dan's experience at the highest level is already rubbing off on the younger generation.

An injury interrupted 2023 hampered the beginning of his OXFC playing journey, but after multiple jaw surgeries last year, he is ready to tackle the new year and make an impact on and off the field. A highly driven individual with a fantastic understanding of the game, Dan's ability to lift standards, and identify areas for improvement will serve as a great asset for the senior men.


We welcome back Louis Tiernan, 176 game veteran and  two-time senior premiership player (2013/2016), who returns to coaching after assisting the reserves in 2019.

An ever-reliable operator as a player, Louis will be leading the defence this season. A great reader of the play, and a very measured individual, it is fantastic to see another former star giving back to the club. An incredibly popular figure at the Old Xavs, everyone is excited to see what he can bring to the senior group.

Balwyn dishes out reality check to South Croydon in Eastern Football League  | Herald Sun
Jeff Gobbels celebrating a goal for Balwyn


Rounding out the coaching group is a new face from the Balwyn Football Club. Jeff has had a vey successful playing career, competing in the WAFL before playing 195 games and kicking 481 goals for Balwyn, where he won 4 premier division premierships under Daniel Donati. Jeff was captain of Balwyn from 2020-2023, a best and fairest winner, best on ground in a premiership, and is a member of the Balwyn team of the century. An enviable playing CV, we are thrilled to have someone of his calibre beginning his senior coaching journey in the Red and Black. A prominent goal kicker through his career, Jeff will be in charge of the forwards.

Complementing these coaches, we have Adam Sassi, who is continuing as Strength and Conditioning coach. He has been keeping everyone fit over the Christmas break.

The Reserves Men will be lead by Dimitri Panotis as head coach, following on from the success with David Landrigan last year. He has bought on board Nick Sheehan as his assistant, who has had stints with Bond University and Old Scotch.

The club is thrilled to have so many great people looking after the magnets of our Senior Men in 2024 and are excited to see what they can accomplish.